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Paula Erwin-Toth's picture
Preventing Caregiver Burnout

Paula Erwin Toth, RN, MSN, FAAN
WOC nurse

November is National Family Caregiver Month. Family caregivers are the unsung heroes of the health care team. Without their loving care, hard work, and dedication our health care delivery system would crash and burn. They are the ones continuing our plans of care in the home. They are the nurse, physician, physical therapist, nursing assistant, home health aide, counselor, and social worker all rolled into one. They are expected to grasp complex care techniques that years ago were carried out only in the hospital.

Caregiver burnout is a real problem: caregivers dedicate so much time caring for their loved ones they neglect themselves—physically, emotionally, and financially. Many caregivers become socially isolated and often do not reach out for help. There are times the loved one becomes distraught if the caregiver leaves for a time and has someone come in to help—even if it is another family member. I have no doubt many of you, like me, have seen the family caregiver succumb to illness because he or she is worn out from caring for the loved one.

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Cheryl Carver's picture
Terminology

By Cheryl Carver, LPN, WCC, CWCA, FACCWS, DAPWCA, CLTC

It is 2018, and health care professionals around the world are still debating what to call skin damage. I totally immersed myself in wound care because of losing my 47-year-old mother to what was then called "decubitus ulcers." I was young when my mother died, and I wanted to know why and how this could happen. My perspective is different from that of most clinicians because of my personal experience.

My purpose in writing this blog is not only to share my opinion but also to shed a different light on this controversy. There have been many debates at conferences, in the workplace, and on social media forums. After all of these discussions, there doesn't seem to be an easy answer. Based on this dissension, we need not only to establish the correct term but also to make revisions to the staging system itself. Some argue that if you change the term, the definitions automatically change. There have been some revisions, but are they enough?

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Holly Hovan's picture
Interdisciplinary Journal Club

By Holly M. Hovan MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, CWOCN-AP

Wound, ostomy, continence (WOC) nurses wear many hats. A significant role that we play is that of an educator, both with our patients and with our staff. I'm sure we've all heard "How on earth did you ever get interested in wounds? What made you want to be a wound specialist?" or similar comments. There are so many specialties in nursing, so why this one? For me, it is about helping others.

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Hy-Tape International's picture
Stomas and Periwound Skin

by Hy-Tape International

Stomas can cause significant difficulties for patients and health care professionals by degrading patients’ quality of life and making it difficult to stay active. Peristomal skin complications are particularly problematic and can lead to a wide range of problems and discomfort for patients. To reduce the risk of these issues, it is critical that health care professionals understand these complications and take steps to help patients minimize their risk.

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Heidi Cross's picture
Legal Issues

by Heidi H. Cross, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, CWON

In the last blog, I discussed wound documentation and how it is a very necessary communication tool among wound care providers and also as a record of the care provided. It is used by attorneys to prove whether or not the standards of care have been met in a particular case. Wound documentation needs to be clear, concise, chronological, continuing, and reasonably complete. A lofty goal indeed.

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WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
Patient Centered Risk Assessment

by the WoundSource Editors

The goal of pressure injury/ulcer prevention is not only to maintain skin integrity but also to provide a patient-centered plan of care geared toward positive outcomes. This includes seeing your patient as a person, as well as identifying the patient’s pressure injury risks. Caregivers of any kind should learn to take steps in the prevention of pressure injuries/ulcers. We can utilize every risk assessment and tool known, but without educating our patients, health care professionals, and caregivers, a prevention program will not be successful. And let’s not forget that pressure injuries/ulcers can occur in patients of any age, at any weight, and in any type of setting. Most people think nursing homes are to blame when they hear the terms pressure ulcer, pressure injury, sore, decubitus, and bedsore. As clinicians, we tend to focus on the patient groups we take care of. Pressure injuries/ulcers are, most of the time, preventable.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
Palliative Care

by the WoundSource Editors

Palliative care and hospice care are not the same, but they both share one goal. They both focus on a patient's physical, mental, social, and spiritual needs. Palliative care can begin at diagnosis and treatment or for patients at any stage of their illness. Patients may not want to receive aggressive treatment of non-healing wounds because of underlying diseases, pain, and/or cost.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
Repositioning tool

by the WoundSource Editors

In today's health care market, we have numerous turning and repositioning tools, offloading devices, and sensor technology gadgets available. You may ask "Why do we need any of these technologies if we provide consistent quality of care?" "Consistent" is the key word in preventing ALL pressure injuries/ulcers. There are nursing shortages, gaps in education, and a need for nursing or caregiver efficiency.

There will always be a risk of pressure injury/ulcer development for our sick patients. If we can use advanced technology to promote "consistent" quality of care, we should do it. However, in our health care system, the battle for reimbursement drives what equipment we can use for our patients. We need to compare and assess the available options before selecting what enhanced prevention tools or devices we may want to utilize.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
Pressure Injury Development

by the WoundSource Editors

"Has Your Family Member Developed Bedsores While in a Hospital, Nursing Home, or Assisted Living Facility?" This is what you will see attorneys advertising on social media sites and television. The driving message is that your loved ones aren't receiving the quality of care they are owed. This is considered negligence and abuse. The most recent estimations of pressure injuries/ulcers in different health care settings are noted to be 29% in home care, 28% in long-term care, and 15% in acute care. Pressure injuries/ulcers are the second most common cause of civil suits alleging medical malpractice.

Paula Erwin-Toth's picture
Affordable Care Act

Paula Erwin Toth, RN, MSN, FAAN
WOC nurse

Happy Fall! This is the time of year for change: changing leaves and changing temperatures. In the USA, it is also the time for choosing a Medicare supplement and other health care plans. Last but not least, it is election time. No matter what your political beliefs, be sure to vote—early voting, absentee voting, and voting on Election Day are all options for you to consider. Many people feel as if one person‘s vote cannot make a difference. Many elections have been very close contests where small numbers of individual votes were absolutely critical to the outcome.

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